Whether due to space or preference, sometimes you may wish for your kids to share a room. And when one of them is a baby, that means a few extra things to consider!
While babies under the age of six months should sleep in their own sleeping space in your room, once they pass the six month mark you may want to think about giving them their own bedroom. However, space limitations can sometimes get in the way - which means they might need to share with an older sibling.
Worry not! Babies can absolutely share a room with a sibling, however there will be a few steps to take in order to ensure a harmonious sleeping arrangement. Here are our top tips to make baby-sibling room sharing a dream (or as close to it as possible!).
Personal Space Matters
Your baby may not be as bothered, however for your older child who may already be used to having their own bedroom, personal space is key. Sure, they’re gaining a roommate - but helping them to feel like they still have their own space is a great way to help them cope with the transition.
Creating two distinct sleeping areas complete with individual furniture items, such as dressers or wardrobes in the room can help your child to feel like they still have their own space; you could even hang a curtain or place a screen down the room to make it feel like two separate rooms.
Communication Is Key
Gaining a sibling as a roommate is a big change for any child, so communicating with them is key to helping them understand and accept their new sleeping arrangements.
Make sure they’re aware of what’s happening in advance, and try to create a positive feeling around sharing a room with their little brother or sister. It’s also a good idea to make sure they are aware of any safety considerations, such as not feeding your baby or putting anything into their crib.
Age Matters - Don't Rush It!
Your baby should sleep in the same room as you, on their own sleeping surface, for the first six months of their life. So, if you’re planning for them to share a room with a sibling, make sure this doesn’t happen until they are older than six months.
Equally, you will want to think about the age of their sibling. Younger children such as toddlers, for example, may not be the safest choice as a roommate for your newborn as they may be unable to consistently understand how to behave safely around your baby when unsupervised.
Your baby and their sibling’s sleep schedules may not match - but this doesn’t have to be a problem! Rather than putting them both onto the same sleep schedule, which could cause disruption and upset, it’s a good idea to stick to their existing bed times. How you then manage this is up to you!
Chances are there will be some time between your two kids’ bedtimes, which could be used to spend quality time together; or for an extended bedtime routine. Keeping things as normal as possible for both children is a great way to manage the transition - sleep routines included.
Set Boundaries & Be Consistent
Putting boundaries in place from the get-go is a good idea when it comes to baby-sibling room sharing. Whether you’re happy to allow a little play time before bed, or you’d rather have lights out straight away, make sure this is communicated and stuck to to help your little ones know what is (and isn’t!) OK.
Of course, this can be adapted as you go on - if you find one thing isn’t working, it’s perfectly fine to try something else until you land on something which works for you and your kids.
Baby-sibling room sharing can take a little work, but is a great option for many parents. Don’t forget to take a look at our range of British made nursery furniture, moses baskets and folding cribs to help your baby sleep soundly.